Wednesday, November 9, 2016

It's Not All Hillary's Fault

UPDATE: Good presidential election postmortem from Jacobin:
This election, in the words of New York Times analyst Nate Cohn, was decided by people who voted for Barack Obama in 2012. Not all of them can be bigots.
Clinton won only 65 percent of Latino voters, compared to Obama’s 71 percent four years ago. She performed this poorly against a candidate who ran on a program of building a wall along America’s southern border, a candidate who kicked off his campaign by calling Mexicans rapists.
Clinton won 34 percent of white women without college degrees. And she won just 54 percent of women overall, compared to Obama’s 55 percent in 2012. Clinton, of course, was running against a candidate who has gloated on film about grabbing women “by the pussy.”
This was Clinton’s election to lose. And she lost. A lot of the blame will fall on Clinton the candidate, but she only embodied the consensus of this generation of Democratic Party leaders. Under President Obama, Democrats have lost almost a thousand state-legislature seats, a dozen gubernatorial races, sixty-nine House seats and thirteen in the Senate. Last night didn’t come out of nowhere.
The problem with Clinton wasn’t her peculiarity but her typicality. It was characteristic of this Democratic Party that the power players in Washington decided on the nominee — with overwhelming endorsements — many months before a single ballot was cast.
True, Hillary is uniquely horrible, a bloated, moldering neoliberal/neoconservative corpse that should have been cremated long ago. But what about Barry?

I speak here of Barack Obama, the first black president, the hope and change peace candidate of 2008. Isn't he to blame as well?

The only direct evidence I experienced that there was a presidential campaign came in the form of television commercials and robodials left on my answering machine.

I thought the commercials for both campaigns were pretty good.

The robodials were plentiful and featured both Barack and Michelle. They were meaningless to me. No different from getting a recorded message from Robert Redford or Gloria Steinem.

Obama was dispatched to North Carolina and Michigan to make sure his coalition members voted. He failed.

Obama failed because his presidency has largely been a failure. He ran as a peace candidate, and he maintained the perpetual U.S. warfare state. Economic growth remained neoliberal and unequal in its distribution. His signature achievement is the Affordable Care Act, and it doesn't look like it is going to survive.

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